Traverse City Korean chef shares Kimchi recipe from her Northern Michigan business Samurai Kitchen. Misaeng Liggett is of Korean descent and spent her childhood in Japan, and when she moved to Traverse City, she found a community hungering for her Japanese/Korean dishes. Misaeng obliges by working as a personal chef and at Oryana and Northwestern Michigan College, teaching folks to make dishes like the traditional Korean sides below.

Kimchi with Spinach and Bean Sprout Namul

1    head Chinese cabbage
2 to 4    tablespoons sea salt

2    cups shredded carrots
3    cups shredded greens
3    tablespoons grated garlic
3    tablespoons grated ginger
2    tablespoons sugar
4    tablespoons fish sauce
6    tablespoons Korean red hot 
pepper flakes
1    apple, grated

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Pull into individual leaves, sprinkle each with sea salt and stack in a bowl. Place heavy weight on the top of the cabbage (I use two quart jars filled with water.) This will help the cabbage to release its moisture. Leave for 24 hours at room temperature—or until the leaves are soft enough to fold in half.

Taste the cabbage. If it is too salty, soak in water then squeeze the water from the cabbage.

Mix all ingredients for yangnyeom. Spread yangnyeom on each layer of cabbage leaves. Fold the cabbage leaves in half and place in a plastic bag. Do your best to squeeze the air from the bag and close the bag. Leave the Kimchi at room temperature for at least a half-day and no more than 24 hours. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Spinach Namul
10    ounces frozen leaf spinach
1    teaspoon grated garlic
1    tablespoon
sesame oil
1    tablespoon sesame seeds
2    teaspoons soy sauce
Salt to taste

Defrost the spinach. Add all ingredients and mix well with your hands (“My grandma told me ‘You HAVE TO use your hands to mix well,’” Misaeng says.)

Bean sprout Namul
8    ounces bean sprouts
2    teaspoons grated garlic
1    tablespoon sesame oil
1    tablespoon sesame seeds
1    teaspoon soy sauce
1    teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Heat 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Add bean sprouts and cover. Cook 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it covered for another 2 minutes. Drain and wash with cold water. Squeeze well and place the sprouts in a bowl. Add all the ingredients and mix well with your hands.

Get more tips and recipes from Northern Michigan foodies at the MyNorth Recipe Index.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski